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Peartree

Mono Leaders for Bowfin

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I mostly fish for large mouth, small mouth bass, sunfish etc.  I typically make up simple mono leaders, 10-12lbs just using a perfection loop knot.  Never had any issues with knots failing.  Where I've been fishing lately, I've starting to hang into some bowfin that are bigger, 10lbs+, and they hit quite a bit harder on the take than bass.  Now my leaders are starting to snap off right at the loop to fly line connection.  Any recommendations for better fly line to leader connection?  I like using the loops so I can change them out quickly, but not if they are going to keep breaking off.

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Non slip mono loop or a surgeon's loop instead of a perfection loop. The perfection is a pretty weak knot. 

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I use a surgeon's loop/knot to connect the tipper to my furled leader.  I like the loop to loop connection makes it easy to change tippets.   Most of the lakes I fish for bass have some sort of toothy critter, either chain pickerel or pike when I head up north.  I use 20 or 25 lb fluorocarbon for my tippet.  It might be a bit of an overkill if I'm catching pan fish, but it does make it easier to handle bigger fish.

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I catch Bowfin every once in a while.  I'm fishing for bass and sunfish.  At the fly, I have always tied with a simple, six turn clinch knot.  I've rarely had a break at that knot with any fish.

St. Johns 5-24-14 2.jpg

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I'm to cheap to snip off fly line every time I change leaders so I use the loop knot connection. Never had a loop knot fail. Not knowing what weight fly rod your using I have to assume your using a 5 or 6 weight based on what your fishing for. If my assumption is correct the butt end of your leader is very light. Perhaps go up to a 20 or 25lb butt section. Should also help with casting bigger bass flies as well. 

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I’d add a bite tippet, roughly twice the breaking strength of your terminal end (if that’s a 12lb tippet, then a 25lb nite tippet...).  For a loop I use an improved Homer Rhode loop knot.  Connecting that bite tippet ( no more than 12” worth) ,  I’d use a Slim Beauty knot.

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We all commonly catch fish that weigh much more than the rated weight for a tippet. If your knots are breaking, I would think changing the knot or perfecting the knot would be the ticket, instead of going heavier on the tippet.

I always tie my tippets at home ahead of time, always use loop knots and almost always go through a session of bench testing ( with a scale and a wet knot) the knots before tying a batch of leaders. Last fall my buddy caught a 92 pound halibut on a 20lb. leader that I tied at home. Ten pound fish should not be breaking ten pound leaders.

When you go up on tippet strength, it costs you action, and theoretically bites. It could be that bass and sunnies won't detect a heavier leader but I suspect it will cost you something.

BTW, we commonly use bite leaders too because we have very toothy critters here.

Here's the thing, it's very hard for one of us to tell you what knot to use because there is no knot that works the best for every line in any situation. A knot that works very well for nylon mono. doesn't work well for Flourocarbon. I recently had to change knots when I switched from a 4 pound flouro to 20 pound flouro. Somewhere around 8 pounds was where the switch became necessary. The goal being a knot that breaks after the line itself breaks or one that breaks at over the stated strength of the line.

The key is always to find out what's going wrong and fix that. It sounds like a bad knot and maybe a little of your hook-set technique to me. For what it's worth, those are my thoughts.

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CapmanBob always best advice.  You could just double the line in a Double Surgeons Loop.   I like to do it at the line eye to help the mono from biting into the loop.

 

S

0EB6E009-A9C6-47BB-8C5D-C408DE7CC566.png

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That's a nice looking connection denduke.

On my leader to line connection I go loop to loop, I pre tie my leaders at home I double the but over then whip it with 210 thread and use flexible ca glu on it.

 

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Thanks everyone for all the good input.  I'll change up a few things, starting with the type of  knot and go from there.  

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Peartree am I correct in my understanding that you are using a level (AKA Poorboy) leader which is just a long piece of mono or fluoro attached directly to you fly line?

Swamp

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3 hours ago, Swamp Fly said:

Peartree am I correct in my understanding that you are using a level (AKA Poorboy) leader which is just a long piece of mono or fluoro attached directly to you fly line?

Swamp

You are correct.  Has worked fine for panfish and large bass, a lot cheaper than buying leaders.  I am probably going to try tying up some tapered leaders in the near future.

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1 minute ago, Peartree said:

You are correct.  Has worked fine for panfish and large bass, a lot cheaper than buying leaders.  I am probably going to try tying up some tapered leaders in the near future.

I use straight mono for big fish (salt water) and tapered for smaller species like pike, grayling, trout and salmon.

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1 hour ago, Mark Knapp said:

I use straight mono for big fish (salt water) and tapered for smaller species like pike, grayling, trout and salmon.

I’ve always used tapered for trout, but only get to fish for them maybe a couple of times a year.  I went to straight mono for everything else because of availability and the cost difference and for the most part, it worked pretty well.  I typically try to bass/panfish a couple times a week, and fly change outs eat up the leader pretty quick.

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